April 22, 2011 8:43 am
RISMEDIA, April 22, 2011-For anyone who owns a seasonal or vacation home, it is crucial to be sure it is properly covered and insured. If you are unsure of the terms under which your seasonal home is insured, now is the time to get in touch with your insurance agent.
"Considering specialized coverage for your seasonal home is a smart way to go," says Foremost Insurance Group Senior Product Manager Jim Gontjes. "Your agent or broker will be able to let you know what coverages are available, but it's a good idea to bring along some questions so you're prepared."
Here are some key questions Foremost suggests you ask your insurance agent when deciding on coverage for your seasonal home.
1. Is a full-packaged homeowner's policy my only option or are there other options for covering my seasonal home?
"You may choose a full-packaged homeowner's policy, but there are other options, too," explains Gontjes. "A homeowner's policy typically includes Other Structures and Additional Living Expenses coverage. Some people don't believe these coverages are necessary for their seasonal home so may prefer a Dwelling Fire policy that they can tailor for their specific situation."
2. Am I required to insure both my primary home and my seasonal home with the same company?
"Some companies require that you insure both your primary home and seasonal home with them in order to provide coverage on the seasonal home, but you don't have to in all situations," Gontjes says. "In fact, some companies may have strict underwriting criteria that won't allow the seasonal home to be written with the same company. Talk to your agent or broker to see what your options are, especially if you are looking for a standalone policy."
3. Why won't some insurance companies provide coverage for my seasonal home?
"There are several reasons you may not be eligible for coverage," answers Gontjes. "Some include: the value of the home is too low, too many losses, the seasonal home is located in a different state than the primary home, the location of the seasonal home is not easily accessible by a fire department or the house is rented out to others. Be sure to shop around before picking a policy-there are companies who accept properties in these categories."
4. What optional coverages are available?
"Many homeowners want the flexibility to customize their coverage and having optional coverages available helps you do this," adds Gontjes. "You may want to consider Replacement Cost coverage on your dwelling and personal property, watercraft coverage, golf cart coverage or high liability limits. See what options best meet your needs.
5. What happens if I don't notice a loss right away?
"Since you're only in your seasonal home part of the year, you may be away for several months without setting foot in the house," says Gontjes. "This means problems could spring up without you being aware and you'll want to know how claims are handled."
For more information, visit www.Foremost.com.
Copyright 2011 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.